It is becoming a popular refrain from top government circles in the past few days alleging that there is an international conspiracy plotting the toppling of a serving Prime Minister by “criminalizing” him, as if the Najib government is preparing the ground for a new dragnet of arrests, using Section 124 of the Penal Code on the new-fangled crime of “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a person convicted for the offence to jail for up to 20 years.
The latest person to join in this government chorus is none other than the new Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali who, in his fourth day as the top law officer of the government early this morning, dismissed the purported draft of a corruption charge sheet against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by former Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, published on whistleblower website Sarawak Report, as false.
Apandi went on to declare that the alleged draft corruption charge against Najib point to “a conspiracy to topple a serving prime minister by criminalising him” and warning “stern action against the perpetrators” as “the full force of the law will be applied without exception on any that are found guilty”.
In fact, more than a dozen names have been circulated in the social media in the past few days of persons from the press, Parliament, the “special task force” on the 1MDB which is a multi-agency constituted by Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers alleging that they are going to be picked up in the crackdown on these plotters of the international conspiracy to “criminalise” Datuk Seri Najib Razak and to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia – and it really surprises me that the Inspector-General of Police who have been issuing all sorts of warnings to various quarters in the social media seems to be blissfully unaware of such sites and their activities.
This is why in the past two days, I had specifically asked whether Malaysia is on the brink of a “new Dark Age” and another round of attacks on the independence, integrity and professionalism of the national institutions which had suffered and had not fully recovered from the earlier round of attacks on the national institutions in the country.
The allegation that there is an international plot to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia by violent or unconstitutional means is most far-fetched and ludicrous and exists only in the wild imaginations of those who want to concoct it to hatch a plot to remove Najib’s critics in the Prime Minister’s many scandals, and in particular the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.
If truth be told, there is not only no such international plot and conspiracy to topple the elected Prime Minister by violent or unconstitutional means, we in DAP, PKR and the Gerakan Harapan Baru would prefer to have Najib lead UMNO/Barisan Nasional into the 14th General Election.
This is strictly from party political point of view, for Najib would be the weakest Prime Minister the UMNO/BN coalition could offer, with the volume of political and financial scandals he is chalking up under his premiership, all of which overshadowed by the mammoth and monstrous RM42 billion 1MDB scandal – with 1MDB indisputably standing for “1Malaysia Disaster Bhd” or “1Malaysia Malapetaka Bhd”!
I cannot to speak about PAS as I have just read the Prime Minister singing praises for the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang for his understanding and sympathy for Najib over the 1MDB scandal!
In fact, if there is a vote of no confidence in Najib as Prime Minister in Parliament, I would not be surprised if Hadi and his MPs would not vote in support of any such motion.
From the purely selfish party political viewpoint, DAP, PKR and the Gerakan Harapan Baru MPs would be quite happy to see Najib continue as PM and lead the UMNO/BN coalition in the 14th General Election, and lead to UMNO/BN coalition to defeat and the opposition benches – a prospect predicted by none other than former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been sacked as Deputy Prime Minister not only because he articulated grass-roots concerns about the 1MDB scandal but his fear that UMNO would lose if general elections are held now.
My old parliamentary pal, the former MP for Sri Gading who is now Johore State Assembly Speaker, Tan Sri Mohamad Aziz had publicly warned that the sacking of Muhyiddin as Deputy Prime Minister and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as Minister for Rural and Regional Development would destroy UMNO.
He asked whether it was wrong for an Umno deputy president to talk about an issue that has been worrying the rakyat, posing the very pertinent question:
“What is more important – 1MDB or the survival of Umno?”
The time has come for all Malaysians, including UMNO leaders, activists and members to go beyond the canvas and issues raise by Mohamad Aziz, and ask the bigger question:
“What is more important – survival of UMNO or survival of the nation?”
Before I came to the dinner, I read of UMNO Youth and Puteri leaders in Johore who have quit their posts in protest over Muhyiddin’s sacking, who felt that the top UMNO leadership has deviated from the original struggles of the old leaders and that “those who speak the truth would be removed, and those who fight for the people would be fired”.
Clearly, they have given their answers to the key question of the time: “What is more important – survival of UMNO or survival of the nation?”
While Najib would be the best choice for DAP, PKR and GHB to lead UMNO/BN in the 14th General Election, as it would likely be most advantageous to us politically if there is no change of UMNO/BN leadership, this is not good for Malaysia as a whole as the nation is hurtling towards a failed state in Year 2020 and not a fully developed nation.
The 1MDB debacle raised questions about the government’s transparency and its ability to govern effectively, particularly when it comes to its own finances.
It is also bad for the investment climate and business environment in the country.
Malaysia is facing a number of substantial economic challenges , the ringgit tumbling to levels not seen since the Asian Financial Crisis, making it the Asia’s worst-performing currency as well as a rout in commodity prices particularly lower energy prices.
Will it be in Malaysia’s best interests if Malaysia’s crisis of confidence is resolved before the 14th General Election in another two years’ time.
Is this possible?
This will depend on whether there are some 20 UMNO MPs and 20 BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak who are prepared to join with some 80 MPs from DAP, PKR and Gerakan Harapan Baru to form a new coalition government with a new Prime Minister with new policies so save Malaysia from becoming a failed state.
DAP has 38 MPs, PKR 29, assuming GHB can muster 10 MPs, a new coalition with more than half of the 222 MPs could be formed if there are some 20 patriotic and like-minded UMNO MPs and 20 BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak who agree that the top national priority is to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state because of rampant corruption, socio-economic injustices and the collapse of good governance.
This is not a national or international conspiracy to topple the elected Prime Minister by violent or unconstitutional means, but a patriotic endeavor using democratic and constitutional means to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state – to allow Malaysia to become a country of “endless possibilities” to leverage on the wealth and diversity of Malaysia’s human talents and natural resources to become a truly great nation.
The question is whether such numbers of MPs could be cobbled together with a new coalition, a new Prime Minister and new policies to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state.
(Speech at the DAP Sungai Petani anniversary dinner held at Dewan Beng Siew, Sungai Petani, Kedah on Friday, 31st July 2015 at 10 pm)